I am a second-year massage therapist, going into my third year. I specialize in deep tissue and trigger point therapy and have been continually astounded at how effective the work that I do is for my clients. Over the course of the last two years, I have admitted clients who suffer from everything from fibromyalgia to chronic fatigue syndrome, drop foot syndrome, nerve damage, scar tissue, peripheral neuropathy, and myofascial restriction. What has discouraged me the most is that many western-based medical treatments by doctors and other healthcare professionals have proven ineffective to my clients, and I have heard over and over from them that they are tired of being “just another number” and that they are tired of being prescribed with more and more medication, as they feel sicker from pills and prescriptions rather than better. I have since begun and documented several trial cases with the permission of my clients, all of whom are more than willing to testify to the effectiveness of massage therapy and the incredibly positive impact that it has had on their lives. Test case #1: I have a client who was diagnosed with diabetes and with severe peripheral neuropathy, so great that her doctors told her she would never have feeling in the nerve endings of her feet again. When she first started coming to me, I discussed several treatment options for her and performed a palpation analysis to determine what I might be able to do to help her. In addition to suffering from peripheral neuropathy, she also suffered from severe plantar fasciitis, so badly that her toes were permanently curled in an upwardly-arched position. I began treatment on her once a week at 30-minute intervals, integrating both therapeutic foot massage and reflexology. After only two weeks of treatments, her toes had corrected themselves, the plantar fasciitis had abated, and she reported that she was able to feel the cold and hot of the floor when she walked barefoot – which she had previously been told by doctors she would no longer be able to feel. Test case #2: A client called me asking if I could come to her house to look at her back, as she was having severe muscle spasms and was unable to walk. She had previously broken her back in the L4, L5/S1 areas and had severe pain, so badly that she was unable to lay down and possessed limited mobility. I consulted her regarding her condition and noticed how many medications she had been put on, all of which caused her to function in a hazed and semi-lucid state. I began very gentle, very careful and extremely light massage work on her back, working with the paraspinals and the support muscles of the spinal column in an attempt to help improve circulation for healing. After just one week, my client noticed an incredible improvement in her mobility and function. After four months of work, she is not only walking again but has been given an “all-clear” for the healing of her broken back by her medical doctors, has had her pain medications all but eliminated, and is able to live a normal lifestyle again without the constriction of pain and immobility. She, as well as her employees and family, has said over and over again that massage was the thing responsible for her healing and returning to normal. Test case #3: I have been seeing a client for two years who initially came to me with severe frozen shoulder syndrome and an inability to turn her head side to side due to restrictions in her scalenes and levator scapulae. Her pain was so severe that she arrived at her first session in a neck brace. I helped her to develop a treatment plan, structured sessions based around her needs, and have helped her to regain 90% mobility of her frozen shoulder, as well as eliminated pain and restriction in her neck muscles causing freer range of motion. The list of successes for massage treatments goes on and on. Not only is massage a healthy complement to many western-based medicines, it is also an essential part of integrated health and maintenance for the body. It is safe in that it requires no medications or pills, and it is also beneficial in all the ways a regular therapeutic massage is: stress reduction, increased circulation, and alleviation of muscle tension that can cause physical ailments. Not only do I think massage should be incorporated into the U.S. medical system, but I also believe that it needs to be recognized as an essential therapy and treatment for the maintenance and well-being of the body. My clients would all agree. Thank you for posting this. I am most definitely available for questions and additional commentary, and several of my clients have volunteered to be contacted as well.